For the third time in a row the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have found Shepway District council wanting. Their Lifeline Advertising aimed at the Old, the Vulnerable & the disabled has been misleading by omission
On June 1st we ran Misleading by Omission and SDC were put on ASA’s ruling board on the 15th June 2016.
On August 15th we ran SDC Misleading the Old the Frail & the Disabled. Again SDC were put on ASA’s ruling board on the 20th July.
SDC have now managed a Hat Trick of misleading statements regarding its Lifeline Services. On this occasion it was to to with the money payable.
ASA have said:
“We have assessed the ad and the complaint and we considered that you had made a valid point. We considered that the ad was likely to mislead because it did not make clear that the cost of the alarm was payable quarterly in advance (instead of £3.10 a week). As this appeared to be a relatively clear breach, instead of initiating a formal investigation and with a view to acting quickly, we informed the advertiser of the complaint and they have assured us that the ad will no longer appear in its current form. They have also agreed to ensure that similar issues do not arise in their future similar marketing communication. We have also received a written assurance from them to that effect.”
Basic information including the advertisers’ name and where the ad appeared will be published on ASA’s Ruling Board on Wednesday 5 October 2016.
So this time around SDC were misleading the elderly, the disabled, the frail & infirm over prices. They did not spell out the costs. How many people were misled? This is not known but as we have said before there is a course of action you can take if you or a relative use the lifeline service. Under s6 of The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 you can bring a case against SDC, if a family member applied for and began using the lifeline service provided by SDC. The best place to discover if you might have a case is Shepway Citizens Advice Bureau on 01303 241435. (Please note this number is not for advice and may not always be answered so please leave a message and they will get back to you.)
As for who is responsible that would have to be Mr Mark Luetchford (left) as he is head of SDC Communications. He should be applauded for his devoted adherence to the “Peter Principle“
Which simply put holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their “level of incompetence”), and there they remain, being unable to earn further promotions. This principle can be modelled and has theoretical validity for simulations. Peter’s Corollary states that “in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out their duties” and adds that “work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence”